Baker Academic

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Call for Papers

For our readers interested in Jewish-Christian Dialogue:

The Jewish-Christian Dialogue and Sacred Texts section at SBL (San Antonio, Nov. 19-22) is hosting two sessions.

(1) Our section is sponsoring two sessions. One is an open session, all relevant proposals welcome. 

(2) The other session is titled "Has God Brought Us All Laughter? Jews, Christians, Humor and the Bible." In this session, we seek to explore the role of humor in the interpretation and application of Scripture among Jews and Christians. In keeping with the overall theme of our section, we especially look forward to proposals that also identify or embody this humor as part of Jewish-Christian dialogue.

We are hoping to review proposals soon.



  1. First, let me say that I don't know how the SBL functions, and if folks want to write papers and discuss them, I certainly would not discourage that interaction. May I ask what the goal is, a better understanding between parent (Judaism) and child (Christianity)? That would be good! I hope that there's a lot of informal time together.

    I'd like to see more real-life experience. How about Jews and Christians coming together just to share their life experiences and perspectives and arguing over politics, sports, or any non-substantive matter, and drinking beer together.

    I was a United Methodist pastor for five years back in the late sixties, early seventies, and a young woman in my congregation came with her Jewish fiance' to discuss their pending plans for marriage. Parents on both sides were strongly against these plans. I met with both families and a compromise developed whereby the formal service would be held at the UM church but there would be no reference to Jesus during the service, and the reception would be held at a neutral locale. These were gut-wrenching decisions for the parents. Upon visiting with the couple later on, both families were being supportive of the marriage.

    My point is that I personally would feel best about
    situations which allowed Jews and Christians to interact with each other at the most basic life and personal levels. Would not that be the most influential action for healing and absorbing all of the distorted perceptions and evils of the last two millenia, many, if not most of them, justified and promoted by brilliant academics and philosophers.

    Anthony, thanks to your recommendation, I'm about 2/3 through Nirenberg's Anti-Judaism which I'm also reading in concert with Carroll's Constantine's Sword.

    Gene Stecher
    Chambersburg, Pa.

    1. Hi Gene, what you are describing is sometimes done when groups from churches and synagogues get together for lay dialogue. I wish that the academic dialogue could be a bit more like this. Unfortunately, it tends to be much more formal. Papers, q&a, perhaps beers a bit later on, etc.